Photo courtesy of Billy Porter/Instagram
Back in 2020, musician and actor Harry Styles graced the cover of American Vogue for their December issue and was credited with being the first man to have the solo honor, while also being the first to do so wearing a dress.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Billy Porter addressed his feelings toward the historic pop culture moment, saying, "I feel like the fashion industry has accepted me because they have to." The "Pose" star continues, "I created the conversation [about non-binary fashion] and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time."
Photo courtesy of Vogue, Condé Nast/Instagram
It is practically undeniable the impact Billy Porter has made on the conversation surrounding gender and fashion. For Porter, the buzz around Styles' American Vogue cover highlighted the lack of credit that there is in the industry, saying he "changed the whole game...I was the first one doing it and now everybody is doing it."
Porter makes it clear that in no way is this him "dragging" Styles, but acknowledging the opportunities that are not so easily afforded to him as a black, gay man but are to his white counterparts. He goes on to say, referring to the former One Direction star, "He doesn't care, he's just doing it because it's the thing to do. This is politics for me. This is my life."
Following Porter's statement from the interview, he later issued an apology to Styles while making an appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Porter opened up with, "The first thing I wanna say is, Harry Styles, I apologize to you for having your name in my mouth. It's not about you. The conversation is not about you." Billy porter further acknowledges that this conversation is way more than his statement involving the "Adore You," singer, but about "systems of oppression and erasure of people of color who contribute to the culture."